Yellow Berries

A slightly squished pair of leftover berries

A slightly squished pair of leftover berries

Sometimes I get into a rut.  A rut of not really feeling like shooting.  These are the times when having a commitment to post daily drives me to dig deep and find the energy to go shoot.

Today was one of those days.  I had a long list of things I wanted to get done.  But after spending nearly 3 hours on the first item on the list and failing to get it done, I really just wanted to take a nap.  I decided to give myself a half an hour to lie on the couch before heading out to pursue 4 shooting “assignments” I’d come up for myself.

I like to turn the TV on when I nap on a Sunday afternoon.  I don’t know why. Two things went disastrously wrong with this plan:  1)  My feet were cold; I can’t sleep when my feet are cold.  2)  While I was not sleeping, I got interested in the movie that was on.

So, instead of taking a short nap, I laid on the couch until late afternoon.  I almost didn’t manage to get myself out the door at all.  After all, it was gloomy, gray, and cold out there.  I was tired and, at last, my feet were warm.  But, Pat got motivated to go work for a bit, so I thought I could at least get motivated to do something fun.

I realized I was not going to get to all four of my photographic assignments, however.  I opted to take Tisen with me and do the most convenient of the four.  That was to shoot water droplets.

I have to admit I knew this was a long shot.  4:30 in the afternoon is not prime time for water droplets.  But, given that it was gray, gloomy, and cold, I thought maybe, just maybe, all those wonderful water droplets on the grass in the morning would still be there.

They weren’t.  As soon as I walked outside and felt the wind, I knew there would be no water droplet shots today.  But, having outfitted my camera with my 100mm macro lens attached to 3 extension tubes to maximize close-up focusing, I figured I might as well look for something interesting to shoot in lieu of water droplets.

I found the berries above looking bright and cheerful on such a drab day.  In real life, they’re less than a ½ inch in diameter.  I walked by them every day, 3x a day without really noticing until I went looking for something small to shoot.

That’s one of the things I love about shooting macro–I suddenly see things I completely filtered out.  It’s like someone handed me a new pair of glasses and the world came into sharp focus.

Speaking of sharp focus, I experimented with using a higher ISO setting and a very small aperture to try to maximize the depth of field, one of the challenges of macro shooting.  I think it helped.

Berry starting to get a few sunken spots

Berry starting to get a few sunken spots